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Sabatier Catalyst Poisoning InvestigationThe Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA) on the International Space Station (ISS) has been operational since 2010. The CRA uses a Sabatier reactor to produce water and methane by reaction of the metabolic CO2 scrubbed from the cabin air and the hydrogen byproduct from the water electrolysis system used for metabolic oxygen generation. Incorporating the CRA into the overall air revitalization system has facilitated life support system loop closure on the ISS reducing resupply logistics and thereby enhancing longer term missions. The CRA utilizes CO2 which has been adsorbed in a 5A molecular sieve within the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly, CDRA. There is a potential of compounds with molecular dimensions similar to, or less than CO2 to also be adsorbed. In this fashion trace contaminants may be concentrated within the CDRA and subsequently desorbed with the CO2 to the CRA. Currently, there is no provision to remove contaminants prior to entering the Sabatier catalyst bed. The risk associated with this is potential catalyst degradation due to trace organic contaminants in the CRA carbon dioxide feed acting as catalyst poisons. To better understand this risk, United Technologies Aerospace System (UTAS) has teamed with MSFC to investigate the impact of various trace contaminants on the CRA catalyst performance at relative ISS cabin air concentrations and at about 200/400 times of ISS concentrations, representative of the potential concentrating effect of the CDRA molecular sieve. This paper summarizes our initial assessment results.
Document ID
20140002591
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Nallette, Tim (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Perry, Jay (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Abney, Morgan (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Knox, Jim (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Goldblatt, Loel (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
April 2, 2014
Publication Date
July 14, 2013
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
M12-2223
Meeting Information
International Conference on Environmental Systems(Vail, CO)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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